HELLO! Friends! As many of you know or if you are new here, my family and I made Oahu our home for the past two years. We made countless memories, learned so much about the Hawaiian culture, and met so many people that left an impression on us. The island’s beauty, the serenity, and laid back atmosphere are all things we will never forget and always miss. I love that my son got to experience calling Hawaii home and I hope he continues to keep a little Aloha in his everyday life no matter where he winds up.
There were many things I loved about Oahu and wanted to share them with you. Even though we will probably never make Hawaii home again, we will cherish all the wonderful memories forever in our hearts. Although two years is relatively short, hopefully our experience in Hawaii can help you plan your own future adventure.
Haleiwa Joe’s has two locations; in Kaneohe, HI and Haleiwa, HI. We never made it to the Haleiwa branch but I absolutely loved their location in Kaneohe. It was tucked up in the lush mountainside [on Haiku Road] and had a beautiful garden where you could stroll before or after dinner. Everything we tried was excellent and it’s Hawaii away from Waikiki, so nothing was ever pretentious. I loved the casual vibe!
Kualoa Ranch is a must if you ever travel to Oahu! We have done just about every activity they offer. A favorite family outing of ours was traveling to their “Secret Island” beach where you can kayak, snorkel, and stand up paddleboard.
To read about Oahu adventures on the windward side click HERE.
The Incredible Sunsets
There is nothing quite like a Hawaiian sunset. Even though they are beautiful in a picture, they are even more spectacular in person. We loved spending the weekends grilling and relaxing on the beach. Our favorite time to go was late afternoon so we could stay through sunset and then do a little stargazing into the night.
Our Guide to a Casual Beach Grill out click HERE.
If you haven’t tried a Hawaiian Pineapple yet, put it on your bucket list! They have a hint of a coconut taste and perfect amount of sweetness! You’ll never be able to eat pineapples out of a can again.
If you missed my post on How to make a Pineapple Boat – 5 Easy Steps click HERE. It is such a cute way to serve your pineapple for a party, and you don’t even need a plate to display.
Year Round Outdoor Entertaining
We loved our outdoor space and used it weekly for entertaining and our nightly dinner. You could always count on the weather being beautiful no matter the time of year. It was always so strange listening to family members back in mainland talk about the cold weather they were experiencing in January. The joke, but true, was that our weather was always 84 and sunny!
Recreating one of our favorite meals in Costa Rica was a blast in our backyard in Hawaii. If you missed my Gourmet Backyard Party, you can read all about it HERE.
We’ve lived in some amazing places from Alaska, the Ozarks, and the Appalachians, and have traveled to all sorts of crazy places. However, there is something majestic and completely different about the Hawaiian mountains. Maybe it’s the close proximity to beautiful blue pounding ocean water or the Doctor Suess-esque vegetation, but every vista offers something inspiring. You have to see it to appreciate it.
Now that we settled in northern VA, we plan to stay for a while. Hooray! We purchased a new home and I will be documenting my whole design process. And I still need to share the details of the Great American Road trip. I know I’ve promised it before, but it’s really coming out soon. So, there is a lot to share with everyone in the near future. While recounting the splendor of Hawaii, it’s easy to get a little homesick and miss the Aloha and “84 and sunny.” Weirdly enough, I don’t. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am for Fall! Pumpkin Patches, cool weather, scarves, Apples… I could go on and on!!
But with all of this new excitement, my heart is still with all the families in Texas and Florida who have lost their homes or have a long road ahead cleaning up. Many prayers sent your way.